1 cup diced onion (1 small)
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon oil or butter
12 whole peppercorns
2 green cardamom pods, seeds only
1 bay leaf
dash cayenne (or more)
4 cups water
1 cup red lentils (massoor dal)
1 teaspoon salt
Saute the onion, garlic and ginger in the oil or butter over medium-high heat with a pinch of salt until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add spices and stir for 30 seconds. Add water, lentils and salt.
Cover, bring to boil, stir. Then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes until lentils are very soft.
Remove bay leaf and puree (a stick or immersion blender is ideal)